§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what progress is being made by countries not having reciprocal arrangements for free medical treatment for British visitors abroad to implement the necessary legislation;
(2) whether he will list the countries with which the United Kingdom now has reciprocal arrangements for free medical treatment for British citizens abroad.
§ Mr. Alison
I have been asked to reply.
The United Kingdom has entered into reciprocal arrangements with the following countries for the medical treatment of British residents and visitors abroad:Bulgaria, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Yugoslavia.
In addition, there are reciprocal arrangements with the following countries for certain categories of British residents abroad:Australia, Belgium, the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
The services available are provided on the same basis as to nationals of the countries concerned and are not always entirely free.
Proposals for similar reciprocal arrangements for British visitors are currently under negotiation with certain other European countries. It is, however, difficult to extend this network of reciprocal agreements as widely as the Government would wish because so many European Governments base their medical services on the principle of insurance and are unwilling to provide them to non-contributors.386W
ties and specialist services. Over the past five years expenditure on the provision of these services was as follows: